Important facts that parents should know about toddlers

Toddlers gro at a slower pace than when they were doing in their first year. Therefore it is expected that the child start to eat less in amounts in food.

The toddlers has an automatic mechanism that helps him/her regulate the digestive system in order to keep growing. Therefore the toddler will eat the amount of food that the body needs.

New food can look unpleasant to the child. The toddler needs time to get acquainted with a new food item. Surprisingly this happens to us adults too! Therefore we should accept the fact that the toddler need frequent exosure to accept the new food.

The toddler age is the time to test the parents. The child is growing up into an independent individual and is trying to have some control over the environment.

The child is affected by the surrounding behaviors. This means that the way parents eat and the food choices that are made available can affect the toddler´s choices.

What can make meal times more pleasurable to the parent and the toddler?

Provide choice two or three food items at snack time. This provides the toddler with a sense of control.

Provide smaller servings, the child can experience success when she or he finished their food and this allows opportunity to ask for more.

Use the right equipment , the child needs to have age appropriate cutlery and small cups and plates.

Use adequate seating, the toddler should be in a position to reach for things independently. The seating should be of adequate height to the toddler.

Keep patient, it can take ten or more opportunities for a child to accept a new item.

Favorite food, these should be made available occasionally and not during every snack time. If these are presented all the time the toddler is being encouraged to become an avoider to new food items.

Time for snack/meal time: create a daily routine.

Nibbling: do not reduce snacks in between meal times with the expectation that the toddler will eat more. Toddlers do not necessarily feel the sensation of hunger and can increase the feeling of irritability if the usual snacks are removed.

Family time, have the toddler sit down with the family. Research shows that this can have an impact of food choices when the toddler is older.

Minimize distractions, now that the child has become a toddler it is better if his or her attention is focused on the meal time activity.

Avoid punishments, forcing or punishing the toddler will not help picky eating habits.

Drinking, juice and mil are snacks too. Water should be also offered in between snacks times.

Amount of milk, toddlers should not drink more than 475 ml -600 ml milk a day.

Amount of juice, toddlers should drink between 120 and 175 ml of juice daily. Providing more amounts that the mentioned above will decrease the appetite.

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